Mother dashes into burning flat to save daughter
Residents free boy by prising open gate but his sister still trapped in burning flat
In a daring move, a woman rushed into her burning HDB flat and rescued her young daughter on Saturday night.
Her neighbours had earlier tried entering the 11th-storey flat at Block 4, Haig Road, but flames and thick smoke made it impossible to do so.
Mr Ng Teng Loi, 64, a retiree who lives two doors away, told The New Paper that his wife - who was about to go downstairs for a walk - had alerted him to the fire at about 7pm.
Mr Ng, his son and son-in-law rushed to the unit, where they found a young boy crying at the door. They tried breaking the lock on the gate using a hammer but failed.
The trio, who were later joined by another neighbour, then prised open the gate so the boy, about five years old, could crawl through.
Mr Ng said: "Then the boy told us that his younger sister (around three to four years old) was still trapped in one of the rooms.
"I would have gone in, but the flames were raging and the smoke was so thick.
"We were afraid there could be an explosion from the gas cylinder in the kitchen."
That was when the boy's mother returned to the unit.
"I told her that her daughter was still inside and she rushed in. They both came out safely, although they inhaled quite a lot of smoke," he said.
The housewife, Ms Liu Gui Hua, who turned 35 yesterday, told Shin Min Daily News that she had no hesitation risking her life to save her daughter.
"I want to thank my neighbours for their help. Had they not reacted in time, I don't know what would have happened," she said.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman told TNP they were alerted to the fire at 7.20pm and sent a fire engine, two Red Rhinos, two ambulances and a supporting vehicle to the scene.
The fire started in the kitchen of the flat, reported The Straits Times.
About 50 residents were evacuated from the building by police officers, said the SCDF spokesman.
The woman was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, while her children were sent to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
TNP visited the flat yesterday and most of the interior was blackened with soot. Many appliances in the kitchen were melted.
The children's grandfather, Mr Ang Cee Hock, 77, said Ms Liu and the children are doing well.
He said he didn't know when they will be discharged from hospital.
One of his 10 pet birds, however, died in the fire.
"I went out for dinner then. I should have been at home and this wouldn't have happened," he said.
Another fire broke out in a residential unit - this time at Tiong Bahru - yesterday. Two men were taken to hospital with burn injuries and smoke inhalation, The Straits Times reported.